A guinea pig with brown fur.

“Adopt, Don’t Shop” Shouldn’t Have Exceptions

Adoption Saves Lives


We’re asking pet stores to stop selling animals because of the cruelty and suffering that occurs when animals are bred for profit.

Animals Sold in Stores Come from Cruel Commercial Breeding Mills

Virtually all animals sold in pet stores, including birds, reptiles, and hamsters, come from large commercial breeding facilities, called “mills,” that produce as many animals as cheaply as possible.

In these facilities:

  • Animals may fight for limited food and water.
  • Severe overcrowding is common.
  • Animals, like lizards and turtles, have been found packed into dirty plastic bins and denied water.
  • Sick and injured animals may be ignored, starve, or be gassed or frozen to death. 

As a result, some animals, especially fishes, arrive at stores dead or sick.

Animals End Up in Shelters or Abandoned

The sale of animals means more animals end up in shelters or are abandoned to fend for themselves outside.

  • One in four people taking small animals or birds to a shelter in Boston said they bought them at a pet store.
  • Wild animals like turtles are often mis-marketed as low-maintenance or “beginner pets” who are good for children. In reality, these animals often require complicated care—sometimes for decades—meaning people eventually give them up.
  • Some people who no longer want to care for a wild animal just release them outdoors. Some animals die painfully while others start breeding and competing with native wild animals for food and shelter—hurting biodiversity.

This cruelty isn’t acceptable. Animals are not products who can be bred and exploited for profit. If you agree that animals shouldn’t be sold in pet stores, ask PetSmart and Petco to end animal sales.

Act Now